Deciding When to Take Social Security


Deciding When to Take Social Security

As the saying goes, “timing is everything.” This even applies to when you decide to take your Social Security retirement benefits.

November 18, 2014

You can apply for benefits as early as age 62, but drawing them sooner than your full retirement age (FRA) may permanently reduce your benefits. Instead, you might consider taking advantage of delayed retirement credits by drawing benefits after reaching your FRA – up to the maximum age of 70 – to receive an increased payout.

Many individuals are choosing to work beyond the age of 62, in which case delaying benefits can be a smart choice. Even if you have cut back on the level of hours you work or have fully retired, consider tapping into other income sources for living expenses, knowing you can take Social Security as a supplement in the coming years. It also makes sense to wait if you are the higher wage earner – this way you can ensure a larger benefit for a spouse should you be the first to pass away.

You should consider discussing any Social Security withdrawal decisions with your financial advisor. Your advisor has access to tools to help determine the best approach for your situation and overall financial plan.


1 Estimates are shown in today’s dollars and based on assumptions for someone born 1/1/1949 earning the Social Security wage base maximum since 1976 or earlier. No cost of living adjustment, inflation estimates or reinvestment rates are included. Please note: Changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. Raymond James financial advisors do not render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Source: Social Security Administration,

2 If you were born on January 1 of any year, you should refer to the previous year. (If you were born on the first of the month, Social Security figures your benefit (and your full retirement age) as if your birthday were in the previous month.)

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